Staffordshire PEEL 2018
How effectively does the force reduce crime and keep people safe?
Staffordshire Police is good at reducing crime and keeping people safe. The force focuses on preventing crime, rather than just reacting to it.
Police officers and police and community support officers (PCSOs) work closely with different organisations and communities to tackle problems.
The force is good at investigating crime. However, it needs to improve its overall management and understanding of those suspected of criminal offences.
The force has effective processes to protect vulnerable adults and children. It has developed relationships with outside partner organisations to support vulnerable people and meet victims’ needs.
The force is good at managing registered sex offenders and violent offenders.
How effective is the force at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and keeping people safe?
This question was not subject to detailed inspection in 2018/19, and our judgment from the 2017 effectiveness inspection has been carried over. One area for improvement remained from that inspection.
- The force should routinely evaluate and share effective practice both internally and externally with relevant outside organisations. This will ensure its approach to preventing crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) continuously improves.
During our fieldwork we reviewed the force’s progress on this area for improvement. Since our last inspection the force has made good progress in the way it evaluates and shares good practice both internally and externally with partner organisations. The force works closely with different bodies and communities to tackle problems.
Through this unified approach it tries to identify and deal with the causes of crime and ASB, rather than responding to the symptoms. Local policing commanders regularly meet with community safety partnership leads to discuss new concerns.
This is complemented by local multi-agency problem-solving meetings where officers and staff discuss effective practice to agree shared actions. The force records problem-solving plans on its ‘citizen focus toolkit’. This is a database of effective practice which neighbourhood officers and staff can refer to. The force identifies key cases and uses them to promote learning. For example, officers have given presentations on using a community protection notice in response to fox hunting, and injunctions to tackle ASB by children.
This area for improvement is now completed.
How effective is the force at investigating crime and reducing re-offending?
Staffordshire Police gives clear instructions to officers and staff on how they should allocate crimes, and the level of investigative skill needed.
Most of the investigations we looked at were satisfactory. The force has changed its investigation teams so that they include people with the right training and experience.
Initial investigation teams conduct desk-based investigations. The force checks the risk allocated to telephone cases to make sure they are investigated appropriately.
We saw examples of good handovers to investigators – including the results of first enquiries.
The force has made improvements to make sure its standard of supervision is consistent throughout all teams. Supervision has a direct effect on the quality of each investigation.
The force provides victims of crime with a good service. We found that officers contact victims regularly and record this on crime files.
Staffordshire Police needs to improve how it manages its response to find people who are wanted for, or suspected of, a crime.
The force uses bail legislation effectively to keep the public safe. It reviews investigations and examines the results to improve services to the public.
Areas for improvement
- The force needs to improve its oversight and understanding of those wanted for criminal offences, ensuring they are both circulated on the Police National Computer and actively sought.
- The force should ensure that it is fully compliant with the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime with victim contact details consistently recorded and updated.
How effective is the force at protecting those who are vulnerable from harm, and supporting victims?
Staffordshire Police has a clear definition of vulnerability and a good strategy for protecting vulnerable people, which the force understands well.
The force is good at identifying vulnerable people when they first contact the police. Call handlers respond to calls quickly and use a structured risk assessment process to make sure they respond to incidents consistently.
Officers complete a domestic abuse risk assessment for victims and other vulnerable people in the household at incidents.
The force uses feedback from victims to improve the services it offers.
Staffordshire Police works with other organisations and exchanges information with them to support vulnerable people and meet victims’ needs.
The force is good at managing the risk from registered sex offenders. It uses preventative and ancillary orders to protect the public from dangerous and sexual offenders. It responds effectively when offenders break the rules of these orders.
Areas for improvement
- The force should implement the necessary processes to share information with schools in relation to children affected by domestic abuse incidents, to ensure information is shared as quickly and effectively as possible.
How effective is the force at tackling serious and organised crime?
This question was not subject to detailed inspection in 2018/19, and our judgment from the 2017 effectiveness inspection has been carried over.
How effective are the force’s specialist capabilities?
We have previously inspected how well forces provide armed policing. This formed part of our 2016 and 2017 effectiveness inspections. Subsequent terrorist attacks in the UK and Europe have meant that the police service maintains a focus on armed capability in England and Wales.
It is not just terrorist attacks that place operational demands on armed officers. The threat can include the activity of organised crime groups or armed street gangs and all other crime involving guns. The Code of Practice on the Police Use of Firearms and Less Lethal Weapons makes forces responsible for implementing national standards of armed policing. The code stipulates that a chief officer be designated to oversee these standards. This requires the chief officer to set out the firearms threat in an armed policing strategic threat and risk assessment (APSTRA). The chief officer must also set out clear rationales for the number of armed officers (armed capacity) and the level to which they are trained (armed capability).Detailed findings for question 5